A volcanic, historic Bruckner 9th
The main - almost the only - reason to get this is the Philadelphia Orchestra's first-ever encounter, in 1948, with Anton Bruckner's 9th Symphony, under Bruno Walter's baton, preserved because it was broadcast nationally on CBS radio. This is nothing like the autumnal Bruckner of Walter's stereo days in Los Angeles, but a wild, volcanic performance, one of the wildest rides in music, absolutely hair-raising and captured in surprisingly good sound. The wind playing isn't always rock-solid, but I didn't care. I didn't find the rest of the 2-CD set quite so good. The 1940 NBC 4th has been available before; it's of interest as a document of old Bruckner performance styles (it's the Loewe edition) and of Walter's championship of the composer on American radio, but not a great recording by itself. There's also a previously-unreleased Mozart 35 with the NY Philharmonic-Symphony from 1944, which neither adds nor subtracts much from the value of this release.